Kindness club, Model UN among new school additions

By Andrea Ray | May 10, 2017
Photo by: Andrea Ray Madison Hough proposes a new National Organization of Women (NOW) Club at Wareham High School.

Starting this fall, students at Wareham High School and Middle School will be able to spread a little cheer, focus on women's issues, debate the best method of bringing peace to Syria, or just find others with their interests.

The Wareham School Committee made it possible when they approved four new school clubs, which will begin in September.

Random Acts of Kindness Club

The club was proposed by Wareham School Committee Student Representative Jaime Reed. "It’s a domino effect, can start with one person and can effect all students and staff," she said.

The club is open to all, and meant to spread positivity by performing surprise (and random, of course) acts of kindness.

"I love the idea, from what I know about the students of Wareham, i think it will be extremely well received and effective club," said committee member Geoff Swett.

The club was approved unanimously.

National Organization for Women (NOW) Club

Wareham High School student Madison Hough proposed the idea after attending a Women's March in Washington, D.C. "I wanted to bring it home with me," she said. "I think feminist organizations get a bad rep because people think only females can be involved and that is not the case. It is a community effort."

She explained that the philosophy of the club is to educate students and staff about women rights, standing up for the issues it supports and spreading awareness amongst the community.

Most of the committee was enthusiastic, but Swett had reservations. "Don’t take my comments the wrong way," he began. "I read that the group of people at the greatest risk is in fact young males. When I observe I see tremendous progress by young females. All the areas where achievement is recognized, it is routinely seven or eight out of ten are females. So when I see an organization meant to promote women, I’m concerned we’re separating out people’s right and people in general."

He admitted that he knew he would be outvoted, and was. With Swett as the only dissenter, the club was approved 4-1.

Model UN Club

Student Tyler Litchfield pitched a Model UN Club to the committee with great enthusiasm.

" It's a nationally-acclaimed student organization. The addition would diversify the club pool and make the school more competitive for other schools around it," he explained.

He also stated that the club would make Wareham High School more attractive to new students, plus add new option for students already there. "Model UN offers valuable education, enjoyability, real life debate skills, education about current affairs, learning to argue for positions you don’t agree with."

First topic would be “reducing tensions in Syria without violence”.

“I’m interested how you’ll evolve the UN and perhaps do it even better than they’re doing it now. I totally approve of it," said Swett.

School Committee Chair Judith Capporiccio added, "Maybe you can come up with ideas to make the world even better.”

The club was approved unanimously.

Gay/Straight Alliance Pilot Club

Eighth-grader Andrew Sandoval explained to the committee that he was hoping to provide a safe space for any students who might feel left out in school or have different interests than the majority of the student body.

Swett was not enthusiastic, but only because he felt the club indicated that students did not feel safe in school already.

"Every parent and school committee member wants to believe a school is a safe place, we would do anything to make school a safe place," he said. "When I see students wanting to create a safe space, it drives me crazy. To me, what it is saying is that the school in general isn’t safe enough."

"We don’t mean it like that, we just intended this for people who feel as if their interests or emotions aren't well-received," Sandoval said.

"I hear you, I believe you," Swett said. "It still disturbs me that we haven’t met your needs well enough. I’m sitting here feeling guilty that you feel the need to create a safer space. It's not a reflection on you."

Dr. Steedman took a different tack. "The way I view it, I think we’ve created an environment where students are empowered to create a space for collaboration. If they didn’t feel empowered, they never would have been able to do this."

The club was unanimously approved.

 

Comments (19)
Posted by: Spherebreaker | May 11, 2017 08:49

3 out of 4 are liberal radical organizations and have no place in our schools



Posted by: Uptohere | May 11, 2017 10:50

I agree, they have no place in our school system. The system has enough issuses already. There are other subjects that need to be addressed. Don't go down the same trail others have taken and severely regret.



Posted by: MDonahue | May 11, 2017 11:29

Tolerance, respect, diversity, conflict resolution, compassion..... these certainly have a place in our schools.  Thank you, Wareham School Committee for supporting the students needs.

 

 



Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | May 11, 2017 20:21

They're missing one.  They need a transgender club.  That's the latest craze.  When I was a kid, I got to pick the color of my bike.  Nowadays, kids get to pick their gender. Times sure are changin'.



Posted by: Brownie Lover | May 11, 2017 20:34

.......

 



Posted by: Brownie Lover | May 11, 2017 20:45

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Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | May 11, 2017 20:56

Good point, the kids are confused.  It will likely pass with maturity.  There is no possibly way that there are so many legitimate cases.  It exists, but it is very rare.  Nowadays its a thing to do...a fad...like purple hair and nose rings.



Posted by: Brownie Lover | May 11, 2017 21:57

........

 



Posted by: Rosebud | May 12, 2017 07:53

I think we should give these students a little credit for their initiative.



Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | May 12, 2017 10:24

These kids certainly deserve credit for initiative.  Considering what other students are doing to make the news lately, this is great.  But as a realistic hard working adult and keeping politics out of this comment (I don't do politics on here), I wish the topics weren't so left-centered "puppydogs and rainbows".

 

Before our good students worry about Syria, why don't they form a peer group to help combat the drop-out problem from yesterday's paper?  They can tutor & council other students as peers.  Focus their brains and good intentions on something that will make a difference right here in Wareham.



Posted by: Andrea Smith | May 12, 2017 12:33

Four students bringing forth creative ideas for four new clubs each of which reflects a powerful commitment to social awareness and social justice...positive steps for the school community, hope for the world they will enter as adults, and in general undertakings of which so many can be proud!

Placing emphasis on acts of kindness and creating a welcoming community for those who feel for any reason that they aren’t well received are very beneficial actions in an adolescent world. They can be the difference that prevents a student from dropping out of school or feeling so alone and isolated that they succumb to despair.

Encouraging students to learn more about the United Nations and the impact it can have upon the world through participating in a nationally acclaimed student organization will make students more globally aware and may very well impact the professions they choose to pursue as they approach high school graduation.

Having an opportunity to explore and become active in organizations such as “Now” encourages students to understand the degree to which they can address and have a positive impact upon issues that concern them as adults.

All four new clubs, each encouraging positive actions by their members, are positive steps toward a better future. How grateful we should all be to the four students for the effort and commitment in behalf of their school community and the world in which they will live as adults.



Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | May 12, 2017 13:09

Boy you write well Andrea.  That's almost got me convinced but it's still all leaning too far to the left.



Posted by: Uptohere | May 12, 2017 13:22

You can put a nice spin on a pigs ear its still a pigs ear. They want clubs then come up with some that will deal with the issues in Wareham. Trash, homelessness, poor choice skills, helping other students, and I'm sure there are a lot of other that aren't left leaning or political.



Posted by: Andrea Smith | May 12, 2017 15:34

Everyone of the new clubs addresses issues which impact Wareham. Wareham is not an isolated island; it's part of a far larger world, the problems of which impact Wareham. Helping students to grow in awareness of the issues which the clubs address and to understand how they can have a beneficial impact upon them, is something I think should be applauded.

 

Regarding Uptohere's  statement, "They want clubs then come up with some that will deal with the issues in Wareham. Trash, homelessness, poor choice skills, helping other students," Wareham High students do deal with those issues and have been highlighted and applauded in the media for doing so.

 

Issues of "homelessness, poor choice skills, helping other students," are also all issues that can be helped through both the Random Acts of Kindness Club and the Gay/Straight Alliance Pilot Club, the purpose of which has been described as establishing a place for students who may feel left out in school.

 

As for "trash" anytime anyone picks trash up, the act of doing so falls under the category of a Random Act of Kindness.

 

The article under which all of these comments appear highlights some very good young people and their efforts to open the doors to additional opportunities for student participation within the school community. I think it is very sad that some comments beneath this article have taken on the tone of an attack tweet aimed at a personal political distaste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Posted by: Uptohere | May 13, 2017 10:06

You can put as nice a PC spin on this all you like, still a pigs ear. It's the start of left leaning political indoctrination.



Posted by: 181mph | May 13, 2017 17:18

when this country stops leaning in any direction, and actually starts gettin down to business of the people, all the people, we will be better off



Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | May 14, 2017 14:54

Yes, thats a good point 181.  It's an ideal concept that probably won't happen in our lifetimes in the country.  However, the public schools should lean less or at least have a balance. For every one of these lefty clubs, they need something from the right to balance it.  Otherwise all these kids will end up wasting their parents money going to college in Vermont, graduating with a useless Arts degree, and live in the basement till they're 30.



Posted by: Andrea Smith | May 14, 2017 17:44

Wareham School Committee Meetings are open to the public, and include on their agendas time at the beginning of meetings for public participation. Anyone who is concerned that the new clubs are "the start of left leaning political indoctrination" or who has any other concerns about the clubs has the same option as did the students covered in this article...you can go to a school committee meeting, stand before the school committee, identify yourself and express your thoughts.

School Committee Meetings will be held, May 24, 2017, June 7, 2017, and June 21, 2017. Meetings are held in the Auditorium of Wareham Middle School at 7:00 p.m. unless otherwise posted. All meetings are open to the public.

 

 



Posted by: Chaka | May 16, 2017 22:10

I think these clubs are great. They are about kindness, acceptance and dealing with our fellow man, or woman, in a respectful manner for the greater good. These kids give me hope for the future.



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